Turkey & Iran

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Turkey’s Referendum: Will Erdogan Win Supreme Power?

Since mid-July 2016 Turks have been living in a state of emergency, subject to the sweeping powers permitted the president and his ministers in this situation.  Triggered by the coup attempt on 20 July, in which 240 soldiers, police and civilians were killed trying to stop rogue troops who had commandeered fighter jets and tanks to bomb parliament, the state of emergency was extended on 19 January 2017 for a further three months.

© Photo: MPC Journal

Iran emboldened – Op-Ed

Emboldened by the misconceived policies of ex-US President Obama, Iran has become positively confrontational under President Donald Trump. Iran and the US always backed different sides of the wars in Syria and Yemen, but now they stand ideologically opposed on most issues involving the region. Early in February Iran tested a ballistic missile, claiming that to do so was not in contravention of its nuclear deal, but the new US ambassador to the United Nations called the test “unacceptable”. Washington put the Islamic Republic “on notice” and imposed sanctions on more than two dozen individuals and companies involved in procuring ballistic…
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Istanbul, Turkey - © Photo: MPC Journal/Hakim Khatib

Faith and Modernity Under Muslimism

There is a new brand of Muslim religious orthodoxy on the rise in places like Turkey, which seeks to engage modernity through the sincere religious belief of individuals. Neslihan Cevik uses the term “Muslimism” to set it apart from other trends. Neslihan Cevik‘s new book, Muslimism in Turkey and Beyond:  Religion in the Modern World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), identifies an important and fertile middle ground between fundamentalism and secularism. She discusses her research with STI in this interview.

Istanbul Bombings: Soccer in the Bull’s Eye Image©:quoteaddicts.com www.mpc-journal.org

Istanbul Bombings: Soccer in the Bull’s Eye

Twin bombs in central Istanbul may not have targeted Besiktas JK’s newly refurbished Vodafone Arena stadium, but underscore the propaganda value of attacking a soccer match for both jihadist and non-jihadist groups. They also raise questions about counter-terrorism strategy. The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, a splinter of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), claimed responsibility for Saturday’s blasts that targeted police on duty to maintain security at a match between top Turkish clubs Besiktas and Bursapor. Thirty-eight of the 30 people killed in the attacks were riot police.

© Photo: MPC Journal/Hakim Khatib - mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.

Religious Order and Political Islam In Turkey

In the past two decades, Turkey has emerged on the global scene. It has enjoyed dramatic economic growth that has catapulted it into the exclusive G20 club of major economies; and under the rule of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkey has enjoyed unprecedented political stability. For the past fifteen years, the AKP has formed a single-party government, a remarkable feat given Turkey’s tumultuous politics.The AKP’s tenure was at first lauded in the West as the triumph of democratic forces over semi-authoritarianism. The AKP inherited a system in which Turkey’s General Staff and high judiciary often dictated terms to officials….
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Turkey’s Travails: Purges Worsen Ankara’s Democracy Deficit mpc-journal.org

Turkey’s Travails: Purges Worsen Ankara’s Democracy Deficit

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan holds Fethullah Gulen, the self-exiled conservative, leader of Hizmet, one of the world’s biggest Islamic movements, responsible for last month’s attempt to overthrow his democratically elected government. Erdogan asserts that Gulen’s followers infiltrated the military, police, judiciary, bureaucracy and education system as well as the media. In response, he has arrested tens of thousands and fired a similar number of military and police officers, judiciary personnel, teachers and professors, and bureaucrats accused of being Gulen sympathisers. Erdogan’s claim is not without reason even if elements of the deep state, a cabal of ultra-nationalist politicians, officers and…
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Turkey: Who Is Fethullalh Gulen?

Believers say he preaches a new, modern form of Islam. Critics charge he is a power hungry wolf in sheep’s clothing preparing to convert secular Turkey into an Islamic republic; a conspirator who has created a state within the state and attempted this weekend to topple democratically elected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a failed military coup.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan's frequent outbursts against Israel have earned him a hero's status in the Arab street Photo- EPA

Power in Turkey: Islamist Power Struggle Returns to the Pitch

The opening of a court case against Turkish soccer star Hakan Sukur on charges of insulting the president takes Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s autocratic ambitions back to their origins: an Islamist power struggle with exiled preacher Fethullalh Gulen that erupted five years ago on the pitch. A soccer player-turned-politician who in 2011 was elected to parliament as a representative of Mr. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), Mr. Sukur stands accused of asserting in February 2015 that the president was guilty of theft. Mr. Sukur, who sided with Mr. Gulen in his dispute with Mr. Erdogan, was referring to charges in…
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